My family, and many families in Ohio have made a few trips to Hocking Hills on vacation! The state park boasts the famous Old Man’s Cave & lots of gorge waterfalls. In fact, Old Man’s Cave is a very popular Pinterest pin, so I bet even if you’re not from Ohio you may have seen it. It’s got a lot of history from all the way back to the Native Americans, to the Civil War, and was a hide out place for bootleggers, bank robbers, and horse thieves.
Glamping in Hocking Hills
For reference, there are 5 areas of the park: Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Rock House, and Cantwell Cliffs. Hocking Hills was first inhabited by the Shawnee, Wyandot, and Delaware Native American tribes. There are 200 campsites in the park. We have stayed at the State Park cabins in the past and they are great.
Most trips are here are spent in hiking through the forest and crashing out by fires in log cabins. It’s very old school! It’s not only family fun, as my OSU friends and I used to rent out a cabin in the Spring and rage for the weekend. That’s where I learned to pour peppermint schnapps and chocolate syrup in my mouth and shake it up… and where I became a wizard (aka drank enough beers, that while stacking one top of the other, they reached my height). I also fractured my cheek bone that night, go figure.
This trip was totally different, a girly getaway with my mom glamping in Hocking Hills. Plus, I’m not 19, errr I mean 21, anymore. There are a few luxury locations in the area, but none more popular and fancy than the Scottish Glenlaurel Inn.
Glenlaurel Inn | A Scottish Inn and Cottage
My mom has been telling everyone about how great our stay was at Glenlaurel Inn, she should be put on a commission basis there. I feel like all her friends will be booking trips this fall. But, fair warning to book early as this place fills up fast and there are about a million reasons why! Click here for rates and availability. The first, is the warm greeting everyone working there gives you, especially Tracey the Innkeeper. Real Inns have an actual Innkeeper who live on the property (who knew!). She personalizes the trip for everyone and as it’s a small place, she is really involved in making sure your trip is planned out, kind of like a concierge.
A very cool thing about Glenlaurel is the unique packages and discounts on offer. They have an “Eat, Pray, Love” (“Starting a new chapter in your life? No need to go to Bali, you can find yourself here!” starting at $209 a night, included a gourmet pizza delivered to room & 3 course breakfast), a “Girls Getaway” (for 2 nights includes a 1 hour massage for each person, 6 course fine dining, gourmet pizza the second night, and 3 course breakfast each morning starting at $666), “Golfing” and more.
We did the Girls Getaway and it was divine! The spa team brought massage tables to the room and we have mint foot scrubs and massages. Then I had to wake mom out of her coma. If you look at all the things you get at the price, it’s a really amazing deal, so it seems like getting a package is the way to go. If you celebrate your anniversary, you’ll get 10% off the following year, 20% the year after and so on, until you reach 50% off. Very cool.
they got the monster out form under the bed ;)
There are rooms, suites, crofts, and cottages. We got a gorgeous cottage complete with a hot tub, two fireplaces, giant soft bed, big fluffy robes, antipasti platter in the fridge, and more but the photos explain best.
hot tub outside the room, pretty nice!
you can get fresh flowers added to the room
At the end of my 6 weeks, my mom asked me what my favorite meal was in the USA, and other than my meatballs at Mezzo and her home-cooked hoagies & stuffed peppers, I said our dinner at Glenlaurel. Any meal that starts with a poem before the first course of 6, is bound to be a winner.
What was served? Stuffed filo pastry, salad with heirloom tomatoes, corn and pico de gallo bisque soup, the best pork ever with a fancy name that cooks for like 15 hours, glazed carrots, vanilla mousse, and tea! If you want a quick fix, you can get a packed picnic lunch to take hiking for just $30 bucks for two. Breakfast wasn’t bad either ;)
FYI: for dinner, you do have to dress nice. I was pretty under-dressed as I didn’t realize how fancy it was! This place was amazing, I couldn’t recommend it more!
Happy Trails | Horseback riding in Hocking Hills
The following morning we got up early, had that amazing breakfast, then headed off about 10 minutes to Happy Trails, one of the most booked horseback riding agents in Hocking Hills. I hadn’t ridden a horse in a while (a camel? sure, an elephant? maybe, a yak? of course…). I was stoked. My mom was pretty excited too, asking the guy, “It’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget right?”. He’s like uhh yeah sure… and off we went!
We did a two-hour ride instead of 3 because of time constraints but that was okay because it was a really wet day and we worried about the horses walking in mud. We were reassured it was totally fine and horses are the strongest most capable 4wd ever ;)
We did our hike up to 21 horse cave, named after an incident where a horse thief got busted with his collections on horses there and called the townspeople dumb for not realizing over the years he’d always had “no less than 21 horses in here at all times!”
Location: 25851 Big Pine Road, Rockbridge, Ohio 43149. Email them at markh@HThorsebackrides.com or call 740.380.6372 to book an ride. Prices start at $27 per hour per person.
Lunch at the Hocking Hills Dining Lodge
Because horseback riding works up an appetite, you MUST go to the State Park lodge and have a giant fried bologna sandwich. Location: 20020 Hocking Hills State Park Cabins, Logan, OH 43138 and in case you need to phone call 740.380.0400.
Everything on menu is made locally & the food was SO good. Look for yourself:
This trip was in partnership with the Hocking Hills Tourism Board & Ohio Tourism Board, but no matter who pays, opinions are my own!
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I came across your blog and liked it. I truly envy your courage to live like an expat and also travel. I wish I had the courage to do the same…
I had my first glamping experience last June. I went to this new Glamping spot in Madeira Island, Portugal and girl, I was truly amazed! Have you been to Portugal before?
I am not exaggerating when I say that Roberto’s (the owner) place is the nicest little paradise I ever had the honor of sleeping in. The bed was super comfortable, and the shower in the morning, right next to the Tipi, with a sea view window… Wow… !
The waterfall, the sea, the sounds, the flowers, the fruits, the apple bananas… everything was so relaxing! And, Roberto was also very nice, always available to help me.
This experience of “camping” with all comfort is definitely to repeat! You can have a look at this hidden paradise here https://www.airbnb.pt/rooms/6913695?s=8 or https://www.airbnb.pt/rooms/905068?s=8
Isn’t this a wonder? Good luck with everything! Loved your blog. Bye!
Thanks for sharing with us! Looks amazing.
This looks like a great place to go and chill/get away from it all..but without actually having to sleep in a tent! I have never heard of doing that with peppermint schnapps and chocolate syrup but errr it sounds kind of good- I kind of want to try it now!
hahah you have to try it!! actually, now that I”m older I wonder what I would think of it.
hi, enjoyed the site! I LOVE traveling, horses and food. your pictures of you meals were spectacular and the place looks exactly where I’d like to go soon.